Nov 7, 2012 - By Eric Blom, Staff WriterTwenty-six votes in Tuesday's election were enough to send Democrat Patrick Goggles back to Cheyenne for a fifth term. Goggles defeated Republican challenger Jim Allen in the Wyoming State House District 33 race.
Unofficial results with all precincts reporting and absentee ballots counted showed 2,729 votes cast, with 1,473 for Goggles (50.3 percent) and 1,447 (49.4 percent) for Allen. There were nine write-ins.
House District 33 encompasses the Wind River Indian Reservation along with Hudson and Atlantic City.
"We're relieved and happy with the victory," Goggles said. "We're very thankful."
Goggles said he spent the early evening talking with his 83-year-old mother about the election. Later, he returned home and spent the rest of his evening with his wife and grandchildren, listening to the radio and watching election results on television.
Goggles's win in 2010 also was very close.
He said the close races tell him he and his supporters have to stay organized.
"We have to continue to register young voters," Goggles said. "You can't take it for granted. We have to continue to work hard."
He said the first thing he will do is ask the Legislative Service Office to draft legislation that would redirect 0.5 percent of the revenue that would go into the mineral trust fund savings. He would put the money into Wyoming's general fund to head off budget cuts next year.
Goggles and Allen faced off in 2004 over the same seat. The Fremont County Commission appointed Allen to the seat earlier that year after Rep. Harry Tipton passed away.
Goggles challenged Allen in the November election and won, becoming the first Northern Arapaho tribe member to be elected to the House of Representatives. Goggles has held the seat ever since.
Allen defeated Daniel Cardenas in this year's August primary to secure the Republican nomination. Cardenas had nearly unseated Goggles in the 2010 general elections.
After the results were in Tuesday night, Allen said he was heartbroken but proud.
"We ran a good, clean, positive campaign," he said. "We're proud of the campaign; we can hold our heads high."
He said he spent the evening at his home with family and friends following election results on the radio and TV. Allen was unsure if he would run for office again.
"The results of this election are still soaking in," he said.
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